Have your say on future of Ledbury's most historic sites

Ledbury Reporter: The Barrett Browning Institute. Picture: James Maggs. The Barrett Browning Institute. Picture: James Maggs.

THE power to preserve and change the uses of six historic Ledbury buildings is in residents' hands.

The Ledbury Places group, formed by members of the Ledbury and District Civic Society, is working to secure the long-term future of some of Ledbury’s most recognisable places - the Market House, the Barrett Browning Institute, the Butcher Row Museum, Burgage Hall, the Heritage Centre and the Town Council Offices.

Although the heritage sites are under no imminent threat, the group fears the longer they are left under-used the quicker problems will surface.

The group has discussed a number of possible uses for the buildings, including moving the town council offices in to the Barrett Browning Institute - the current home of the library - and turning the offices in to holiday accommodation or private accommodation.

Civic Society chairman, Alex Clive, said the group wants to hear what local people think is the best use of the buildings.

He said: "We have made great strides over the past few months and have been fortunate to have the assistance of knowledgeable professionals in many fields. Our aim is not only to preserve these six beautiful buildings, but also to ensure they are put to fuller use in order to safeguard their long-term future.

“Although we have done a huge amount of work and have tried to consult with the community throughout this project, we know there are bound to be ideas we haven’t considered or recommendations we have made that might not be the right way forward.

“It is now vital local people engage with this process so we can take onboard their feedback and ensure the grant applications we submit are endorsed by the community we have been working for."

Others ideas include turning Burgage Hall in to an events venue and parts of the Heritage Centre in to holiday accommodation, although the group would look to work with companies who allow guaranteed public access to the building at peak times of the year.

Ledbury Places is supported by My Community Rights funding from the Social Investment Business Group in central government.

To view the options and to have your say by Tuesday February 11, visit www.ledburycivicsociety.org or search for Ledbury Places on Twitter and Facebook. Those without internet access can view the display boards in the library in the Barrett Browning Institute.

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